Granite Lake is a town located in the northern portion of the Border Kingdoms, known as the Great Salt Marsh, which is a large foul smelling, fly infested, stagnate water filled bog hole. And Granite Lake sits just north of this bog of eternal stench. (Anyone able to guess that reference? 😉)
In the high summer months, the water levels are much lower, the flies are maggoty! And the temperatures are fairly high. In the fall and spring, these temperatures are much more comfortable, but drop off steeply in the evenings, and the flies are not so bad. Problem is, with the Fall rains and the spring melt, travelling over this marsh is full of bog holes and leg breakers. In the winter time, this area is cold, windy and unforgiving. Travelling in this area at this time of year can be one of two things. Really good.. or one hellish slog! But the frozen flat ground offers great access to just about anywhere in the area, but the open flat ground grounds provides little shelter from the harsh cold winds!
Assuming that the players escaped with Attalus in the group. They are now fleeing from the battle at Granite Lake.
Read this to your Players
GM TIPThe smoke from the burning town behind you can be seen rising over the horizon, the sounds and screams of the dying village can barely be heard now, except if the wind blows the sound in the right direction. But it appears you have managed to avoid any barbarian patrols so far. But the going is tough as almost every 5 steps you are up to your knees in muck.
To set the mood of tramping over this desolate land, have each player make a D2 Resistance check. Failure will result in 4 fatigue damage (no soak). If you succeed, any momentum used will reduce the fatigue by 1 point for every 2 momentum.
It is after this that the GM can assume they have been moving away from the town for some time. The players may decide to post a watchman, or keep an eye out to see if anyone is following them. The group can nominate a player to make an D2 Observation roll, with people assisting as they see fit. A success will cause the players to spot, what looks like to be a barbarian patrol in the far distance.
The GM can inform the players that they have roughly a 5 hour lead over the patrol if they choose to keep moving.
The party is going to be doggedly followed and tracked.
Barbarian Hunters - Use Conan the Barbarian
This scene assumes that the group has just escaped out of the town and are now on the run.
The story has the group being captured after several days, but they can be captured much sooner if they get silly. Ultimately the group can be tracked down and caught by the hoard. Have the players select the lead character (high survival is best) , and ask him to make a D4 Survival Roll, anyone else can assist with their own survival skill. If a person passes this roll, they will managed to get a 6 Day lead on the horde. They can spend momentum on the roll, for 1 momentum = 1 extra day lead. If they fail the roll, they will be caught in 6 days, and for each dice that shows as a failure, subtract 1 day from that total of 6. This will be their head start that they have.
A dash of railroading: To make this scenario work, the party will be captured. Which seems kinda unfair. I try very hard to allow the players to do as they want in my games, but as a GM to tell a story that is both fun for Player and GM there needs to be a small trip down the railway. To make it fair, although they can not stop being captured per say, they can effect when they are captured and what they do till then. But here is the kicker, during the roleplaying sessions at the camp and interacting with Attalus, they may decide to turn back towards the horde. Bypassing the plot point of being chased all together!
Now that the total number of days have been determined. Its time for the trek. Have a the leader of the group from above, make a D4 Survival Roll, others can help as usual. If they fail the roll, they loose a day's lead and if it reaches 0 they are captured. Also if failed, all players take 2 Fatigue. For every two momentum, you may lower the result on the below table by 1, for each dice that shows as a failure, increase it by 1. A complication, increase it by 2
Regardless if they pass or fail the roll, have them roll 1D20 and have them refer to the chart below (adding any of the modifiers). This chart will be the progress of the current day, and any encounters they may have during it. Each day will technically be a new scene, so the group may recover from stress as per normal each night, unless otherwise noted.
Any fatigue not caused by sickness can be recovered, Difficulty equal to the number of days they are currently on. (Up to a Max of 5) by use of a survival role.
- You manage to find a easy path to follow, gain 1 fortune point (up to your max allowed) and are immune to any roll for fatigue in the next phase only.
- You find a good place to camp, and may ignore 2CD worth of fatigue effects rolled on the next roll.
- You find an abandoned cabin, with meager supplies left as a cache. Find 1+1CD worth of Rations
- You come across a survivor of the horde attack. A successful consul skill (D1) will reveal the horde searching for a stolen relic from a holy site.
- You discover a body of a fallen survivor, you find 1 provision, and 2 reloads of arrows and 1 short bow.
- You find a ruin of some sort. (Roll an the encounter table)
- You spy 2 Barbarian Hunters (Toughened) in the distance, have they seen you? Group Struggle!
- You start to feel ill, Each player may make a D2 Resistance roll, Failure is 1CD Fatigue
- (SICKNESS) You are both sick, tired and cold from the harsh country, each player takes 2 Fatigue
- You come across a old weather worn statue. One it are strange markings. You have seen markings like this before. On the relic
- You have an encounter in a large open field. (Roll on the encounter Table
- It seems like sickness is spreading in the group. All take 2CD worth of Fatigue
- (SICKNESS) Strange boils and welts appear on a PC. Randomly determine who is effected. That person receives 2 Fatigue from sickness
- A sudden and unexpected snow shower strikes the group. All Physical related rolls are raised +1D roll an encounter,
- You encounter a group of 5 Hunters, they have ambushed you. They are considered to have completed an exploit action on the group.
- (SICKNESS). 3CD per player. You each suffer that much fatigue.
- You have an encounter near a rocky outcropping. (Roll an encounter)
- While in camp in the middle of the night, long tentacles reach out from the murky bog waters.
- The going is tough and slow, Make a group survival roll at D3. Failure results in 2 Fatigue
- (SICKNESS) You get totally bogged down in the muck and lose time! Loose a 1 day lead, gain 2 Fatigue, lose 1 fortune and suffer 4 points of Despair. Roll an encounter!
Encouter Table (1D6)
1 - 2 Large Toughened Bears
2 - You stumble across a old battle scene. 2 Mobs of Minion Skeletal warriors, and 2 Toughend rise up from the broken ground
3 - Slavers taking advantage of the displaced refuges from the horde attacks. 2 Slavers and a 4 Mobs of Minion Savages, They see you
4 - You hear the sound of Wolves. You encounter a pack of 3 Minion Wolf Mobs of 5 lead by 1 Alpha Wolf
5 - You are attacked by a Forest Devil.
6 - A broken stone circle sits on a crest of a hill and makes a great camp for you to rest inside. But living in this once holy place, a Malign Plant sits and waits!
When the days finally reach zero, this will result in the party ultimately being captured by the hoard. Which will be covered in our next segment.